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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2019-282
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2019-282
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 11 Dec 2019

Submitted as: research article | 11 Dec 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal The Cryosphere (TC).

Satellite observations of new phytoplankton blooms in the Maud Rise Polynya, Southern Ocean

Babula Jena and Anilkumar Narayana Pillai Babula Jena and Anilkumar Narayana Pillai
  • ESSO – National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research, Ministry of Earth Science, Government of India, Vasco-da-Gama, India

Abstract. Appearance of new phytoplankton blooms with in the sea-ice cover has large importance considering the upper ocean primary production that controls the biological pump with the implications for atmospheric CO2 and global climate. Satellite derived chlorophyll-a concentration showed the unprecedented phytoplankton blooms in the Maud Rise polynya, Southern Ocean with chlorophyll-a reached up to 4.67 mg m-3. Multi-satellite data indicated that the bloom appeared for the first time in the entire mission records started since 1978. Argo float located in the polynya edge provided evidence of bloom condition in austral spring 2017 (chlorophyll-a up to 5.47 mg m-3) compared to the preceding years of prevailed low chlorophyll-a. The occurrence of bloom was associated with the supply of nutrients into the upper ocean through the Ekman upwelling (driven by wind stress curl and cyclonic ocean eddies), and improved light condition up to 61.9 Einstein m-2 day-1. The net primary production from Aqua-MODIS chlorophyll-based algorithm showed that the Maud Rise polynya was as productive as the Antarctic coastal polynyas with the carbon fixation rates reached up to 415.08 mg C m-2 day-1. The study demonstrates how the phytoplankton in the Southern Ocean (specifically over the shallow bathymetric region) would likely respond in the future under a warming climate condition and continued melting of Antarctic sea-ice since 2016.

Babula Jena and Anilkumar Narayana Pillai
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Babula Jena and Anilkumar Narayana Pillai
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Primary production data for the Indian Ocean sector of the Southern Ocean B. Jena and N. Anil Kumar https://doi.org/10.17632/k438knz9zs.5

Babula Jena and Anilkumar Narayana Pillai
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Short summary
A large polynya in the Southern Ocean sea-ice reappeared during austral winter-spring 2017 since its appearance in 1970s. We find the unprecedented phytoplankton blooms in the polynya from the entire mission records of ocean color satellite data started since 1978. The occurrence of phytoplankton blooms in the polynya may lead it to a site of potential sink of atmospheric CO2 through biological pumping and can be a major source of carbon and energy for the regional food-web.
A large polynya in the Southern Ocean sea-ice reappeared during austral winter-spring 2017 since...
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